It is the duty of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to legally register a business (along with its business name) in Nigeria. Your business name is a unique entity, an identifier which must not be exactly the same with another business name elsewhere in the country. Registering your business in Nigeria makes it a recognized business entity deemed to legally operate and pay its taxes under the laws of Nigeria. It also makes your business eligible for loans, attract investors, and get other benefits from the government.
The process of registering a business in Nigeria has now been simplified, unlike in times gone. We will examine the vital stages and paperwork involved in registering a business in Nigeria together, right in this article. Please read along and pen down the details for future necessity.
Registering a Business in Nigeria: The Basic Steps to Follow
For the most part, the process of registering a business in Nigeria is executed online on the CAC website. And is quite hassle-free. But before doing so, you must choose a unique business name. Thereafter you will proceed to do the following:
Check the Availability of Your Chosen Business Name on the CAC Website
You must know that duplicate business names are not allowed. Again, your business name should suggest your kind of business. It is therefore a wise move to search your business name online just in case it exists already. And if necessary, make an adjustment. In fact, you should have at least three name choices ready before you embark on a search.
The CAC website actually has a section for typing and checking the availability of a business name (called ‘Public Search’).There are also useful online platforms called ‘business name generators’ that can help you to select the best name to match your business. They include Namelix, Business Name Generator, Wordoid, NameSnack, and Name Mesh.
Do a ‘Business Name Reservation’: Fill the Online Pre-registration Form
Next, you have to do what is called a ‘business name reservation’ as a prelude to proper business name registration. Thus you will need to fill the pre-registration form on the CAC website. You will be asked to pay a token fee of N500. And it can be done the same day if executed before 5 p.m. Nigerian time.
Fill the Actual Online CAC Registration Form with Your Necessary Details
Once you have completed the name reservation, you can proceed to fill the actual registration form named ‘CAC/BN/1’.
The following details will be required while filling the CAC registration form:
- The business email address and phone number
- The company’s registered address
- Valid government identification details of the directors and shareholders (e.g. International Passports, National Identity Cards, Driver’s licenses, etc.)
- Stamp duty and statutory fees
- Name reservation approval note from the CAC
- Objects of the company
- Full name, occupation, residential address, and date of birth of each director and shareholder
- Certificate of Incorporation and Company Resolution of any other registered company (local or foreign) that will be a shareholder in the proposed company
You must also download and print the completed registration form, as you will need to sign them for a later upload. You can do so by clicking the section tagged ‘Documents’ on the CAC website. Once you have succeeded in printing out the form, you must sign it and fix your passport photograph on it.
Pay the Prescribed Filing Fees
Once you have filled and submitted the registration form, you will be asked to pay filing fees. You can do so right from the CAC site, or otherwise pay directly into the recognized bank account. A receipt of payment will be generated and sent to you soon thereafter. This receipt must also be downloaded and printed as well. The type (and size) of your business will determine the real cost of your business name registration. Check the current prescribed filing fees below for a quick guide.
- Private company with an authorized share capital of 1 million Naira or less: 10,000 Naira
- Private company with an authorized share capital of more than 1 million Naira and up to 500 million Naira: 5,000 Naira for every 1 million shares of the company.
- Private company with authorized share capital above 500 million: 7,500 Naira for every 1 million shares of the company.
- Public company registration for the first 1 million Naira share capital or lower: 20,000 Naira
- Company without a share capital: 20,000 Naira
Upload the Signed Registration Documents
As we have said before, both the Registration Form and the Receipt of Payment must be downloaded, printed and signed by you. The third vital document you must get ready at this stage is your valid Government identification. This could be your National ID, International Passport, or Driver’s License. If the business has more than one partner, director or shareholder, each of them must submit their means of identification. All three documents must thereafter be scanned and uploaded to the CAC website.
Once more, take note of the three vital documents to be uploaded unto the CAC website for final processing:
– Signed Business Registration form (CAC/BN/1)
– Receipt of Payment (for Filing fees)
– Valid Government ID (National ID, International Passport, or Driver’s License)
Present the Real Copies of Your Registration Documents at the CAC Office
Once you have uploaded the scanned CAC registration documents on their site, proceed to submit their original copies at the CAC office. Once they are checked and verified, you will receive:
– Certificate of Incorporation, which should carry your Tax Identification Number (TIN)
– Certified True Copies of the registration documents, and
– Memorandum and Articles of Association of your company.
You can now see that the entire process of business registration is now quite easy. Also , you can also handle it with the help of a registered CAC agent. You no longer require a legal practitioner’s services to do so. And will also need to obtain your unique tax identification number (TIN). This is a requirement for every registered business in Nigeria, as you will need to pay taxes on your business.
Finally, ensure that you secure an insurance policy to protect your business against risks. With these in place, we sincerely wish you the best in your entrepreneurial journey.
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